Expert Advice on Flying First Class for Less
PHOTO: This could be you flying first class. (Photo courtesy Thinkstock)
If you want to fly smarter, getting the same experience for less money – or no money – then you might want to enlist the help of an expert. That’s what I just did and it worked out spectacularly.
Forbes’ Larry Olmsted’s sage advice for saving money: Seek out a good travel agent.
Travel agents don’t make money booking airfare anymore, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t do it. There are several airfare experts still around and they simply charge a fee for their services. SmartFlyer is one of them.
“SmartFlyer has decades of experience in helping established clients and new clients utilize and maximize the value of their hard-earned frequent flyer miles – which basically has morphed into a currency of its own,” Michael Holtz of SmartFlyer tells Olmsted.
In fact, Holtz even quotes fares in milage points.
“Holtz said off the top of his head that he could likely get me to Japan and back on ANA in premium class for 160,000 or fewer miles – less than half of the best rate I had found – but he could probably do even better. He did,” Olmsted writes.
And they are efficient at what they do.
“It took all of a couple of hours for SmartFlyer to find it, run it by me, and book it, even handling the mileage redemption for me. The only unexpected wrinkle was that they couldn’t get me home in business – instead I’ll be flying Global First, a higher class, for far less money and miles,” Olmsted pointed out.
Olmsted, who notes he paid $500 for the service, chalks this up to convenience.
“Yes, there are people who devote tons of time to studying frequent flier forums and hacks and gaming the system, and there are probably readers right now who know they could have done the same. But the Practical Traveler columnist at the Times couldn’t, and I couldn’t, and I know a lot more about buying tickets and using miles than most consumers,” he says.
To find out the details of his incredible deal and how travel agents simplify travel bookings, read on here.
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